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Manteca property crime up
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Property crimes are up in Manteca through the first 11 months of 2016. 
And things, according to Interim Manteca Police Chief Nick Obligacion – who retired in August but will stay on in an interim capacity through March – aren’t going to get any better on the property crime front now that California voters have passed a law that will allow for early release of nonviolent criminals in order to reduce California’s prison population.
Speaking to the Manteca Tea Party Patriots for their final meeting on Thursday, Obligacion – who has always been a favorite of the group for providing an accurate portrayal of crime within the community – attributed the rise in property crimes like robbery, grand theft, other burglary and auto burglary to the combination of Proposition 47, which reclassified certain crimes to misdemeanors, and AB109. It shuffled certain felons back to county jails to serve the remainder of their sentence and cut the intake capacity for those arrested for property crimes.
According to the statistics provided through November of 2016, robbery rose 14.08 percent while aggravated assault rose 10.96 percent. Other burglary rose 11.11 percent while auto burglary rose 51.03 percent. Grand theft rose 2.96 percent through the first 11 months of last year.
But not all of the statistics were bad.
The only homicide through that period in 2016 was back in January – a decline of 80 percent from the 5 that were logged in 2015. Commercial burglary rates fell just over 11 percent while residential burglary declined 33.19 percent during the same time frame. Vehicle theft declined 8.6 percent, while arson fell the steepest of any felony category at 35 percent. In total, all other felonies declined 6.7 percent.
In total, the number of felonies across the board increased 2.77 percent while the total number of burglaries – theft inside of a vehicle, home or business that occurs without the use of force – increased 11.83 percent.
Obligacion answered questions from the audience on topics that ranged from the legalization of marijuana – which he doesn’t support because he feels that decriminalization will increase consumption and will never get rid of the criminal element associated with it – to his issuance of concealed carry permits, which he has long based off the California Attorney General guidelines for “good cause.”
By applying that same standard to everybody who submits an application, he said, it prevents accusations of favoritism and impropriety, and he reiterated his belief that responsible gun ownership isn’t the problem, but rather people who don’t lock up their guns appropriately and end up being the target of thieves who sell them on the black market.
And the group showed its appreciation for his continued support – Obligacion has spoken on average once a year to the group since they formed in 2011 – by donating the remainder of their bank account to the Manteca Police Chief’s Association.
Obligacion said that the roughly $300 that was donated will go towards sending an impoverished student to Washington D.C. in conjunction with a group that aims to educate young people from difficult circumstances about how government operates and how to be a good citizen.
And he even bragged a little bit about the response times of his officers to priority calls in the community – averaging just over three minutes from the time the call comes in to when they respond on scene.
“Fire can brag all they want about their 5-minute response time,” Obligacion said. “But three minutes from the time they receive the call telling them where to be to actually getting there – that’s impressive.”

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.